Years ago, one of the big herbicide companies bioengineered corn and soybean seeds and sold them to farmers with the promise that the corn and soybeans would survive applications of their herbicide, Roundup.
The farmers were happy with the convenience of loading up their tanks and spraying Roundup at will. The farmers were happy with the high yields in corn and soybeans after applying liberal quantities of a substance that was so deadly for the flora.
They were happy until they found themselves having to douse the land with more and more Roundup. The costs were going up. The quantities were going up.
Something frightening was going on.
We homeowners who owned larger than average plots of land came to love the big green and yellow containers. We snorted with murderous glee as we mixed the concentrate up by the gallon, then doused those pesky weeds with plant genocide in mind.
I had a mother who never met a gallon of Roundup that she did not like. Eventually, I took over caring for the back half acre. After a few years, I came to notice that the weeds in the back half acre were calling out for me to feed them.
They loved a taste of Roundup.
I grew up on that acre of land and had no memory of such weeds. The old folks around who owned their land for over 50 years shrugged it all off, figuring that the wind blew something in from the north.
Over the years, the weeds developed thicker stalks. By the time the Spring rains stopped and it was time to mow with the riding mower, the weeds were so tough that the job was impossible.
Where was the fescue and alfalfa that we grew for the horses? I was forced to hire the neighbor to come over with his big field tractor. The neighbor would have to disk everything to 16 inches. After that, the grasses came back and mowing would be an easy task for the rest of the 6 month California drought season.
But every year, the weeds would get more out of hand before they would dry out enough to mow.
This is what Roundup has done. This is what I eventually had to clear out every Spring, after the stuff dried out enough to mow.
These are the weeds that we were destined to get when we started our ill fated marriage of convenience with our Roundup.
According to GreenRightNow,
- "Super weeds built up resistance to Roundup, creating a tidal wave of ever-taller, ever-more-resistant weeds, stymieing farmers, who had to buy more and more Roundup or face declining yields.
- Herbicide use shot up. Monsanto sold a lot of Roundup – 4.4 million pounds in 2000, and by 2010, 57 million pounds, according to Beyond Pesticides.
- Questions arose about the effects of Roundup on the soil and plants as farm animals being fed Roundup-raised crops experienced fertility problems."
Yes. The more Roundup we used, the more weeds we had to deal with the next year, and the next year, and the next year.
So what did Monsanto do? 2-4D! This is a fantastic new herbicide that is safe for homeowners and farmers! And it is not proven as a carcinogen!
Seriously, little has been done to prove that 2-4D is not a carcinogen, either.
"Animal studies detailed on Extonet, a compilation of university research, show that 2,4-d has caused reproductive problems for rats and low doses administered over two years produced malignant tumors."
It is not that 2,4-D will do anything right away, but the growing volume of application will assure that its residues linger on crops, gets into the soil and leaches into waterways.
And now, Monsanto wants to sell a variety of corn seed that resists 2-4D, restarting a cycle of profiteering that is now has historical precedent in Roundup and those great, bioengineered soybean and corn seeds.
It is the new business plan: creating a problem while claiming to solve a problem.
Buy the seed and douse the weed with more and more herbicide. If your endocrine system blows out, well WE didn't do it!
"With any technology there is risk," said Jim Borel, executive vice president of DuPont, which has projected strong growth in sales of insecticide, herbicide and pesticide products. "People tend to focus on either the problems or worse yet the fears that people create about potential problems.
"But," Borel said in an interview, "if we are going to feed 10 billion people in the next 40 years we have to essentially double agricultural production. We all have to work together. We have to be eyes wide open around the challenges and the risks."
So that's it folks! While DuPont rakes in the profit, WE are to be the eyes and ears even though we are not prepared, trained or equipped to catch the chemical companies at their game and when nature is no longer the same.
UPDATE: 5 April. The thistle is called Milk Thistle and it is an incredibly beneficial plant that we have been wasting and nuking with herbicides!
According to Wikipedia, it is a genius of a medicinal and food plant.
Milk Thistle helps with liver damage from exposure to toxic chemicals, hepatitis and chemotherapy drugs.
Reduces the growth of certain cancer cells.
Reduces insulin resistance.
"The roots can be eaten raw or boiled and buttered or par-boiled and roasted. The young shoots in spring can be cut down to the root and boiled and buttered. The spiny bracts on the flower head were eaten in the past like globe artichoke, and the stems (after peeling) can be soaked overnight to remove bitterness and then stewed. The leaves can be trimmed of prickles and boiled and make a good spinach substitute or they can also be added raw to salads."